WHAT A TRIUMPH! Over 180 guests filled the historic El Paseo Restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara during the evening of October 4, 2014 for Heal the Ocean’s sold-out CUREMOS EL OCEANO party!
What a magical evening! Just before dinner, party-goers were treated to a surprise “Flash Mob” performance of the Santa Barbara Choral Society of the “Brindisi” (“Drinking Song”) of Verdi’s La Traviata. In true Flash Mob style, SBCS singers had mixed in with the audience, dressed as guests and servers, and from the main floor and the upstairs balcony, provided a rousing choral response to Orange County tenor Xavier Prado and Santa Barbara soprano Christine Hollinger who descended the stairs over the main stage while singing the famous “Libiamo, libiamo ne’lieti calici” aria. Dinner included a spectacular “surf & turf” dish, as well as enchiladas, prepared by the El Paseo. HTO executive director Hillary Hauser, addressed the crowd on HTO’s latest work to eliminate ocean disposal of waste by treating it to the highest level possible, then using it as recycled water. She recalled Heal the Ocean’s “deeply poetic” first days when we said “the only thing we should be putting into the ocean is love!”
Hillary and HTO Board Member Heather Hudson then launched the Live Auction, consisting of four exotic travel destinations: Yucatan (thank you, El Taj Condo Hotel!); Encanta la Vida in Costa Rica (thank you, Brian Daily!); a weekend for two at the Biltmore Santa Barbara, featuring massages, dinner at Tydes and afternoons at the Coral Casino (thank you, Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts, and especially Bill Medel, who made the connection with Four Seasons!); and finally, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s fabulous donation of a South Pacific diving cruise aboard the small, exclusive luxury ship Paul Gauguin!
We then danced into the night with Hillary’s favorite local beach-party band – the FOG (Favorite Olden Goldies) — and there was a surprise performance on accordion by the one and only Zach Gill from the Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO).
After paying all the bills, we ended up raising over $140,000 that night – an unbelievable outpouring of support for our work on behalf of the ocean. THANK YOU to all our wonderful supporters and sponsors! (See full sponsorship list below.)
And now, for the fun part! Check out all the wonderful photos from that night, captured by Joanne A. Calitri from top to bottom! To hear a wonderful rendition of the Verdi “Brindisi” chorus, click here. Thanks again, Santa Barbara Choral Society – particularly Conductor JoAnne Wasserman, SBCS Board President Dan Secord, Karen Williams, and Kate Rees, who brought this extravaganza to our party! Thank you, Sam Adams, for playing your beautiful guitar music throughout cocktails and dinner! Finally, a gigantic thanks to Heather Hudson and Shannon Trotta, our tireless Event Planners, who worked night and day to bring maracas and magic to our special CUREMOS evening. BRAVA!
Muchas Gracias to All Our Event Sponsors!
Roy E. Crummer Foundation
Dan & Rae Emmett
David Henry Jacobs & Jack Finnegan
Francoise & James Park
David & Lyn Anderson
Just Folk/Marcy Carsey & Susan Baerwald
Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Brad Hall
Sam & Sherilyn Scranton
Carolyn & Ted Roche/Wendy & Larry Barels
Mike & Laura Lodato
Leslie von Wiesenberger
Robert & Cindy Gelber
Frank & Bonnie Burgess
Tom & Nancy Crawford
Jed & Kathy Hirsch
Jodie Ireland & Chris Baker
Brett Matthews/Ginger Salazar
Tom & Barbara Stevens